Love Island UK winner Jess Harding hits back at 'tummy tuck' rumours amid cruel online comments

Composite of Jess Harding and Sammy Root
The season 10 winner has rubbished recent claims. Photo credit: Instagram / TikTok

Love Island UK's newly crowned winner Jess Harding has hit back at rumours she underwent a 'tummy tuck' just days after leaving the infamous villa, amid cruel comments online regarding her weight. 

The 22-year-old, who owns a beauty and facial aesthetics clinic in London, scooped the £50,000 prize with boyfriend Sammy Root upon winning season 10 of the popular dating show late last month.

Despite being a fan favourite in the villa, Harding has been subjected to nasty commentary on social media regarding her apparent "weight gain" during her eight-week stint on the show, including digs at her swimsuits being too small. In particular, her ensemble for the final on July 31 - a cowl neck white slip dress - was criticised by a number of viewers, with one comparing it to a "bin liner".

"Jess has the most gorgeous curves but they decided to stick her in a dress that has as much shape as a bin liner. They did Jess dirty with that dress, she's had so many more flattering outfits during the season," one commented on Twitter, while another likened it to a "sack".

Responding to the hateful comments in a recent interview with OK!, Harding said the dress didn't fit her frame well - making her look "bigger" than she is. 

"The dress was ruched at the side. It didn't sit quite right on my boobs so it made me look bigger than what I am - I've actually got a diddy little waist. But you can't have boobs and a bum and not hips," she told the outlet.

"It wasn't very nice to read, but I think I looked alright for the rest of the Love Island time."

During a Q&A with her fans last week on Instagram, Harding also explained what led to her supposedly gaining weight during her time in the Mallorcan villa - claiming she was "just eating" and "not moving around" while filming the hit series. 

"I put weight on when I was in the villa. We were just eating and not moving around, just sitting in the sun," she said in response to a follower, who told her she looked "fab" post-show. 

Over the weekend, however, Harding was forced to respond to rumours she'd undergone a non-surgical 'tummy tuck' shortly after filming wrapped, rubbishing the reports as "untrue". 

Taking to her Instagram Story, Harding shared screenshots of a Daily Mail article with the headline, 'Love Island winner Jess Harding undergoes 'belly tuck' procedure after gaining weight in the villa'.

Footage of the Love Island winner receiving body contouring
Footage of the Love Island winner receiving body contouring was picked up by several outlets that reported she had undergone a non-surgical tummy tuck post-show. Photo credit: TikTok

According to the Daily Mail, Harding had shared footage to her TikTok that showed her undergoing a non-surgical 'belly tuck' - in which a machine can be seen being strapped around her stomach - followed by before-and-after shots. 

Alongside the screenshots, Harding clapped back at the claims and said footage of her receiving "body contouring" prior to the show had been taken out of context by the outlet.

"Happy Saturday! Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. Some of you may have seen a story about me having a tummy tuck. Just to be completely transparent, this isn't true!" Harding wrote.

"Before Love Island I had wood therapy and non-invasive body contouring but nothing surgical. I love my body as should we all, thank you for all of your support. Nothing goes unnoticed."

It appears the Daily Mail misinterpreted a TikTok video shared by a fan account for the star, in which old footage of the body contouring was uploaded last week with the caption, "Belly tuck".

In their joint interview with OK!, Root was quick to praise his new girlfriend's figure and natural beauty, telling the outlet: "The whole way through Love Island I've said to Jess that I think she is so beautiful when she's completely natural. I love everything about Jess' figure - I've made that very clear."

Harding also admitted that the support for her and Root has far outweighed any negative comments, adding: "I'm sure if I went fishing for the negativity it would be there, but the support is crazy. I didn't actually realise how many people love me - remember that, Sammy!"